Scope power for hunting

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Scope power for hunting

    I have several scopes with power from 9 to 15. My question is in the form of what power setting do you prefer to hunt with. Less magi... normally is less twitchy etc. My question is not related the brand of scope rather what power and distance. Thankyou

  • #2
    i use 4X for hunting with 22 or 223 including spotlighting , i feel its enough for up to 300m.

    i would think the ideal hunting scope for up to 500m with most sizes of game would be a 3-9X40

    in my opinion anyway


    • Guest's Avatar
      6602steven commented
      Editing a comment
      Its difficult to knock any of the advice here, I still have my first scope, leupold VXII 3-9x40. It's shot thousands of rounds on my .223 then on my 7-08 from 50-500m on targets and its great to carry when hunting on 3-4 power.

      ive also hunted with a 12-42x56 :fp: don't try that one at home.


    • fishphillott
      fishphillott commented
      Editing a comment
      Agree with this S12A
      my cat/Roo rifle wears a 3-9x50 cheap $350 scope works well under spotlight or low light i seldom go above 4 or 5x magnification
      out here in the thick mulga scrub a shot over about 150m is rare most less then 100m
      If I miss it's my fault not the rifle or scopes
      for longer shots in the open I use the lithgow 303 with an aperture sight and have taken head shots out to about 300m
      (witnesses claim it's a good shot but I say its more ass then class)

      Originally posted by S12A" post=6412
      i use 4X for hunting with 22 or 223 including spotlighting , i feel its enough for up to 300m.

      i would think the ideal hunting scope for up to 500m with most sizes of game would be a 3-9X40

      in my opinion anyway

  • #3
    6x for most hunting with scope out to 200m, back to 3x or 4x if a bit scrubby up to 100m. Iron sights or a dot for the tick stuff, 20-50m. 14-15x when I'm fiddling with loads and groups off a rest.


    • #4
      I like min power for walking 2x-3x

      Typical driving spotlighting around generally 6x.
      Spotlighting on foot and/or with binos (sniping bunnies etc.) upto 18x.People will think Im mad but the powerful HID and LED lights you get these days you can see a long way esp using binos at the same time. I can see game further than I can shoot them!

      Open country bigger game (pigs etc) set on 3x or 4x go up to 9x to 12x.

      Sniping warrens etc. 12x to 18x.

      Bad eyesight means I tend to need more mag than I used to.


      • #5
        i agree with what S12A says, i made the mistake and bought a miniture hubble telescope and it stays backed off 90% of the time at 5.5 power, (except at the range)
        i have rarely used it above that when hunting, only if i have a stationary target at some distance, i can almost forget about hitting something on the run unless its backed right off.

        from now on i will be getting 3-9 or 4-12 max.

        my 2 cents


        • #6
          I've shot lots of grass hoppers using a 3x9. But after buying a 4x12 & a 4x16 I find I have a bit more to play with!
          Most of the time its set @ 6 with room to move.
          Tikka T3X 6XC
          Tikka T3X CTR 260 Rem
          Remington 788 - 6mm Rem
          Remington 788 - 222rem
          Browning Trombone .22


          • #7
            Aimpoint red dot 1X on the .30-06 for deer and 4-16 on the .204 Ruger for little things.
            I'm in love with Jennifer Hawkins and Alessandra Ambrosio


            • #8
              I think 3x9 is a good all around scope for a walkabout rifle and spot lighting. If I had a choice and funds I would go with a 50mm objective. I have just purchased a 4-12x50 VRX 30mm tube, Leopold with ballistic dot for my 22lr and it's going to be very good for spot lighting.

              I suppose you have to ask yourself what will be the application for the optics and what calibre am I matching it up to? I like a little more than 4X on my 22lr only because I use my CZ Varmint as a trainer and plink with it out to 300m. It doubles as my single unit spotlighter rabbit rifle. We are pretty lucky that we have so many choices and you could choose a lot of differn't combos that would fit the bill.

              Cheers Macca.


              • #9
                Generally I think the responses are spot on.

                I suggest that rather than just consider magnification, the more important consideration is what the field of view is for the scope. A 4.5-14 scope usually has a really poor field of view that betrays what many think to be a good hunting magnification range. Please consider the FoV of the scope as it matters more than the magnification.

                Most of the hunting I do is in the 0 to 200m range on deer, goats and pigs in hilly terrain, so my rifles are fitted with 2-7 scopes for the most part.

                The larger rifles are fitted with 1-4 scopes because you really don't need more magnification on the critters they were bought for, and these scopes usually have great eye relief - useful when pulling the trigger results in significant recoil.

                My rifles built for longer ranges (6.5/06 and 300H&H) are fitted with a 4-12 and 3-10 respectively. These rifles are built explicitly to take small and medium game out to 600m in the middle of the day, and out to 200m in low light conditions and are scoped appropriately.


                • Vromme
                  Free Member
                  Vromme commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Originally posted by adamjp" post=6668
                  Most of the hunting I do is in the 0 to 200m range on deer, goats and pigs in hilly terrain, so my rifles are fitted with 2-7 scopes for the most part.
                  What do you manage to shoot at 0m?

                  You must be amazing at stalking!

              • #10
                My favourite rifle for hunting is my .223. The goats, foxes and rabbits I've taken with it all seemed to have liked it too given the lack of complaints. Unfortunately when I first bought it I was a little younger and it was my first centre fire so I went a little silly with scope choice and got a 9-15. At minimum power it's too much scope for a lot of situations. One of these days I'll get another scope for it but that will probably be a while off so for now I make do with my ill chosen scope.


                • #11
                  I tend to agree that you can have too much magnification power and FOV is important especially on shifty little animals.
                  I used 8 x 50 fixed for years on everything and it was good.
                  Then I got 4.5 - 14 x 50 for tired older eyes and its just so much better.
                  I cope with FOV Ok as I sight both eyes open and that helps a lot providing the rifle mounts and swings to fit the shooter ( Me )
                  14 x is just right as I shoot in a lot of sticks and rubbish so it needs to be spot on not just nearly and that means one in the ear is not close but in the ear
                  308 range can be anything from on the end of the barrel to 400 meters average and more some times.
                  Light is not a problem as its not forrest country or I would say less power and more mag and definatelly 50 mm front end or more.
                  Just cant beat light with older eyes.
                  Don’t poke the snake, walk around it and come back later with a double-barrelled shotgun and blow its f@#!ing head off!.

                  Australia in future, the outcome is the same, a bloody dictatorship run on the whims of a very few ego-centric pathological elitists.


                  • #12
                    I think it's too easy to get caught up with high power scopes without realising the negatives of having high magnification.

                    Once I was in the middle of a network of rabbit warrens at twilight, making the longest shot about 15m. The .22LR I had with me, had a fixed 4x scope. The big problem was that I'd spot a rabbit, then when I shoulder the rifle, couldn't find it, this happened a few times and basically turned a bunch of opportunities into nothing.

                    The magnification depends on the distance and size of game. I don't think you can go wrong with a 3-9x40 for most medium to large game in Australia.


                    • Guest's Avatar
                      Winchester 7x57 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I think a 3-9 is perfect for a walk around rifle,thats what i will have on my 7x57,3-9x50 on a 308(spotlighting)and a loopy 4.5-14x50 on my 25-06 but thats my spotlight rig also,my sons gun is a 223 and wears a weaver 4-16x42

                  • #13
                    I used to have my 4-16 scope on the .30-06 chasing deer and never got it over 4X. Then I saw the light after using a mates red dot on a 35 Whelan and took it off straight away and on to the .204. Went and got an Aimpoint red dot and that is now staying on the .30-06. Field of view is superb, no parallax error and the rifle is now a very well balanced walk about rifle with a very light scope on it. The 4-16 went on the .204 T3 Varmint so that weighs about 9Ibs or more now...added a tall bipod for sitting and sniping dogs, foxes or whatever and now that is a good combination.

                    You really have to consider the terrain you are in . I live right beside thick bush in N/E Vic. Very often a quick off hand shot is required at 40 yards or less. You are stuffed if your scope is cranked up, better off having no magnification. Just stand your ground put the red dot on it and shoot. I don't stalk with the .204, it's to heavy, it's a sit and snipe rifle at longer ranges in different areas on small animals so magnification is required. Beats walking too...lots of fun.
                    I'm in love with Jennifer Hawkins and Alessandra Ambrosio


                    • #14
                      It's a hard question to answer really - to me the type of terrain your hunting in will have a fair bearing on what mag scope is suited to the purpose you intend using the firearm for.

                      • Scrubby country - anything with low mag or open sights is more suited
                      • Open Country - anything from 3-9 up to the high mag scopes are suitable (just depends on the application).
                      • If shooting off hand often a low mag scope is a bit more user friendly due to lower movement detected though the scope
                      • If Varminting over a rabbit warren a high mag scope can be handy especially if your a long way off - having said that I have a 3-9 on the 204 and have used it to shoot bunnies in the head out around 250m, I guess it just comes down to ones skills and understanding of his equipment as to whether a high mag scope is needed in those long range situations or not.
                      Whacking Varmints is my passion!


                      • Guest's Avatar
                        Jethro Bodine commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Simple what type of country do you most hunt in thick bush were you can sneak up or open plains with hills right tool for the right turf have a think you know your shooting grounds .

                    • #15
                      I use 3-9x scopes an unless its very thick, most of the time my rifle is on 4 in the case of stalking incase one pops out, and if not I put it straight to 9x so I can place em where I want em.


                      • Guest's Avatar
                        Red Quoll commented
                        Editing a comment
                        The Marlin 336 has an Aimpoint ,great field of view as both eyes are open ,perfect for scrub ,shooting out of a car to 100 meters.
                        The 30-30 is my go to rifle for most hunting applications.Its just fun to shoot and has quick follow up shots.

                        The Sako 85 SS has a 3.5-15x50 for open plains shooting.I actually want to put a 2.5-10x32 (or a 1-4x)on it and then put the 3.5-15x50 on a rifle dedicated as a LTR to get into tactical shooting.One day i will have a baby like this and you guys who show off your DTA,Sako TRG,AI's,and custom rifles are really making me want to pull the trigger on one.

                        Ohh the 12G sports open sights ,for hitting anything out to 40 meters. Shottys are good for hunting in scrub or out of a car.

                        One thing i have noticed is alot of people who are new to hunting get a rifle with glass that has to much power and a poor field of view.
                        3-9x40 would be a great scope as a walk around jack of all trades type of scope if you only had one rifle/scope combo.
                        its nice to be able to get a dedicated,scrub,long range,walk around rifle and scope combo that match how and what you hunt.